On January 9 1943,  Dad and the other men in his company were confined to there company area, a shipping list was coming out and the men were to be shipped out as replacements. After a week the list finally came out and he, found out he was to be assigned to Ft Meyers, Virginia to work in the recently completed Pentagon Building.   

After a train ride from North Carolina, he arrived in Washington D.C. on the 21st of January and quickly settled in to his barracks at FT. Meyer.




When Dad was stationed at Ft. Meyers he lived part of his time at the older North post of the Fort. The food at the Fort was real good he  remembers,  and he say's the mess sergeant frequently served fried chicken and steaks.

After Several months he was moved to the South post of the Fort,  which had its advantages too, as it also had housing for about 10,000 woman government workers, Dad says all a fellow had to do was walk near the woman's  quarters and one of the lady's  would soon ask a man for a date.

Dad's barracks at Ft. Meyers

(Before Dad slept here,  horses slept there,  as it was a converted horse barn from the days when FT. Meyers was a cavalry post.)

At the Pentagon, Dad was assigned to the Adjutant Generals Reproduction Department.  In  his civilian life he  ran a mimeograph machine, and the Army decided he had the skills to do it in the Army also.  He worked 8 hour shifts while in Washington and speaks fondly of his time spent there.   

When not on duty he spent his free time exploring the nations capital, taking in Washington Senators baseball games, Going to the Stage Door Canteen, dancing at the YMCA, and Roller Skating.

Dad also  remembers going to the Foundry Methodist Church where on Saturday evenings they had a home cooked meal for the soldiers and a dance after supper.

Dads ID badge at the Pentagon

The Pentagon Today


Dad also visited the Pepsi Cola Center while in Washington,  The Pepsi Company was allowing men to record a 78 rpm record of their voice to send home to loved ones,  Dad did this once and we still have it, the record is 60 years old now and the grooves are really worn bad and it is garbled, but I was able to play it and record it. 

Below is a transcript of the record, it makes it easer to understand.

Announcer--- How do you do Mr.. Juckett?

The Pepsi Cola Company is happy to bring you the voice

of your son Lynn, from the Serviceman Center in Washington D.C.


Dad----Hello Mom and Dad,  ah I am at the Pepsi Cola Center

and I got a chance to make this record and will take the place of a letter.

Garbled Sound--------------there is snow on the ground here, about 4 inches deep, first snow I have seen in over a year, down in North Carolina it snowed hard..


Garbled Sound---------------Had a real good time Went to the Smithsonian Institute,  spent quite a while there, the USO 

Garbled Sound------quite awhile, my work is going good down at the Pentagon Building , I have learned to run a multigraph instead of mimeograph


Garbled sound----Well that is about all, I can think of...


This is a mp3 file if it does not play sorry.....,

Click to hear Dads record, it is garbled in places but it can be heard. 

In late April Dad received his first furlough since being drafted, back in Battle Creek, he visited all of his relatives and friends, he quickly became bored because all of his close friends were now in the service, he also found the girls he new had soldier boyfriends or were married.  he was anxious to return to the excitement of Washington D.C. 

Back at the Pentagon the printing work continued, and Dad enjoyed his work.  In mid June he got a pass to go to New York City, he spent his days in the Big Apple seeing the sites of the big city, visiting such landmarks as Coney Island, The Statue of Liberty, and the  Empire State building.  Also in the city he visited the Paramount Theater, he was lucky enough to see  Frank Sinatra who at this time he had never heard of.  He does remember there were lots of girls there screaming and hollering with some of them fainting.

       Dad, with his parents Fay and Lola Juckett            1943


In late June Dad was notified, His services at the Pentagon we no longer needed,  he was being replaced by some newly arriving WACS and he would have to return to the 78th division, he was however granted another furlough and returned to Battle Creek once again for 2 weeks.

Upon on his return to Camp Butner and the 78th Division, Dad rejoined the men in Company A, he quickly found out that life in Washington  had made him soft as that week the men hiked more than 70 miles, he had bleeding blister on both feet and thought the training would kill him, he considered himself lucky one day that week as he had to do KP duty and therefore had a chance to rest his feet.  The training continued throughout the summer, hiking  and doing tactical exercises both during the day and night.


1943 Office Of Defense Transportation Poster



In mid August Dad,  received news he was being transferred out of Company A, he had been transferred to 78th Division Headquarters to do the same work he had been doing at the pentagon, running the mimeograph machine in the Adjutant General Section. 

 In September Dad received another lucky break, although at the time he did not know it.  The Sergeant came around one day and asked the men in his company who wanted to go to barber school, nobody wanted the job, it seems you had to do the barber training on you own time 2 nights a week after you had done your normal duties and training.  A short time later the Sergeant came around again this time Dad got picked for the job.  He quickly learned the art of Army haircutting, and it was not long after that he got the call to give his first haircut, the Colonel called him into his tent one evening while the men were on bivouac, he  cut  the Colonels hair while his orderly held a Coleman Lantern for him  to see. Dad was not able to charge for giving his haircuts but tips were accepted and he recalls now he made about 4000 dollars cutting hair in the Army.

In late October Dad received his 3rd furlough of the year, the folks back in Battle Creek began to wonder why he was getting so many, it seems all the other soldiers were getting one or none before they were sent overseas.

On November 15, the 78th division went on maneuvers in South Carolina they spent the time down there one regiment defending  itself from the other two,  they spent there thanksgiving that year eating cheese and salami in the rain.

The 78th returned to Camp Butner in December, they had a division review on the 11th which Dad says was an ordeal in itself, with about 15,000 men to get in formation they stood in the hot Carolina sun for close to 4 hours with many men fainting from heat and standing for so long.

With the close of 1943 Dad and the men of the 78th once again thanked god for the safety they had that year, but yet I am sure they had many thoughts what the year 1944 would bring for them.  Continue reading to find out what happened to my Dad in 1944.



Dad giving John Horne a haircut in the field.

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